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Afghanistan as the New Iraq?

In dueling speeches today, Barack Obama and John McCain offered contrasting visions for the future of American foreign policy. But, both men also made clear that Afghanistan is a primary front in the war on terror and a battle that must be taken on and won.

Sen. Barack Obama
Barack Obama delivers a foreign policy speech at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center in Washington today. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

"As president, I will make the fight against al-Qaeda and the Taliban the top priority that it should be," promised Obama in an address this morning in Washington, D.C. "This is a war that we have to win."

In a speech in New Mexico, McCain said: "If I'm elected president, I will turn around the war in Afghanistan just as we have turned around the war in Iraq, with a comprehensive strategy for victory."

How the two men arrived at that similar conclusion, however, is vastly different.

For Obama, the battle in Afghanistan is -- and always has been -- the key component of the war on terror; the war in Iraq was simply a distraction from what always should have been the major thrust of the American military post-Sept. 11.

In his speech today, Obama laid out a five-point plan to make America safer, the second point of which is "finishing the fight against al-Qaeda and the Taliban." Obama added that there are currently five times more troops in Iraq than Afghanistan and "we lack the resources to finish the job because of our commitment to Iraq."

For McCain, the Iraq war is a key part of the larger war on terror and the recent successes on the ground in the country -- as a result of the surge -- provide a blueprint for how to win the war in Afghanistan.

"Senator Obama will tell you we can't win in Afghanistan without losing in Iraq," said McCain. "In fact, he has it exactly backwards. It is precisely the success of the surge in Iraq that shows us the way to succeed in Afghanistan."

McCain argued that simply putting more troops into Afghanistan (Obama has promised to move two combat brigades into the country if and when he is elected president) won't solve the problem. What is required, according to McCain is a streamlined military command and a comprehensive plan that seeks not just to win by military means, but also by convincing average citizens of the need for change.

"It is by applying the tried and true principles of the counter-insurgency used in the surge -- which Senator Obama opposed -- that we will win in Afghanistan," McCain insisted.

That the center of the foreign policy debate in the presidential race is shifting from the war in Iraq to the conflict in Afghanistan is telling in several ways.

First, it suggests that the candidates have recognized that the American public has largely made up its mind about the war in Iraq. Poll after poll after poll shows that voters do not believe the war was worth fighting nor do they believe it is a central front in the war on terror.

In the most recent Washington Post/ABC News poll, just 36 percent of voters said the Iraq war was worth fighting while 63 percent said it was not. Of the 36 percent who said it was worth fighting, 22 percent felt that way strongly; of the 63 percent who said it was not worth fighting a massive 50 percent felt that way strongly. Need more evidence? Just 34 percent of the Post/ABC sample said the United States must win the war in Iraq in order for the war on terror to be deemed a "success" while 60 percent said a victory in Iraq is not necessary for the war on terror to succeed.

Second, opinion is FAR more divided when it comes to Afghanistan and the need to win there. Obama and McCain recognize that regardless of how voters feel about the war in Iraq, they tend to be more willing to believe in the need for an escalation of the conflict in Afghanistan.

Asked whether winning in Afghanistan was necessary to winning the broader war on terror, 51 percent said it was while 42 percent said it wasn't -- a stark contrast to the same question asked about Iraq. And, a small majority of voters (51 percent) said that the war in Afghanistan was "worth fighting" while 45 percent said it was not.

The combination of these polling numbers with the clear focus by Obama and McCain on Afghanistan suggest that it, and not Iraq, may well be the primary proving ground for the candidates as they make their case to voters in the fall.

Obama must show voters that he is strong and right when it comes to foreign policy; that while he opposed the war in Iraq, he is not the dove-ish Democrat that Republicans have caricatured successfully in recent campaigns. (The Post/ABC survey shows he was work to do on that front; just 48 percent of voters believe Obama would be a good commander-in-chief while 72 percent said the same of McCain.)

McCain's case is different. He must find a way to turn his advocacy for the surge in Iraq into a net positive -- a signal of his good judgment when it comes to the way the U.S. military should conduct itself in Afghanistan. McCain knows that dwelling on Iraq is a political loser but he and his campaign believe that if they can use the success of the surge to pivot to Afghanistan and, in doing so, raise questions about Obama's readiness for office, they might be able to win that fight politically.

If Iraq was the dominant foreign policy issue of the primary season, it seems that Afghanistan may well take its place in the fall campaign.

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 15, 2008; 12:50 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Comments

The Republicans gave us W ahead of John McCain. The Republicans sanctioned the horrendous attack against McCain in the 2000 Primary and adopted the Rovian win at any price strategy. Now they are trying to correct the mistake.
But McCain wasn't a good choice then, W was worse, and he isn't a good choice for President now.
The Republicans represent business interests, they are the business party and the party of free traders par excellence. The US cannot stand another 4 or 8 years of BUSINESS FIRST policies that undermine the constitution and impoverish the American people both financially and emotionally. I am numb about Iraq. Those men and women are dying every day, families are being destroyed, US children are orphaned and I am numb. McCain is an old fool, living in the past and ready, willing and if given the chance to continue W's wrongheaded policies both foreign and domestic. I am tired of Republican Wall Street Socialism. I am tired of the Evanglicals selling out my children's future in order to "outlaw abortion", or introduce prayer into public schools. NC ought to be ashamed about its latest auto license plate debacle. Another costly court battle. McCane, McSame, McOld,WcCain- he has too much baggage to lead this nation out of Iraq, economic doldrums, return credibility to government agencies, lend common sense to the development of energy alternatives. Obama is young, has a stake in the future of this country and has the willingness to learn, listen and lead. He will restore credibility and proper governance and will restore America's leadership around the world. If the idea that is America-All are free and equal is lost, the world will lose its beacon of hope. Obama will restore credibility to the White House and Washington.
With Obama there is hope, with McCain there is just more numbness.

Posted by: CarmanK | July 17, 2008 8:07 AM | Report abuse

The Republicans gave us W ahead of John McCain. The Republicans sanctioned the horrendous attack against McCain in the 2000 Primary and adopted the Rovian win at any price strategy. Now they are trying to correct the mistake.
But McCain wasn't a good choice then, W was worse, and he isn't a good choice for President now.
The Republicans represent business interests, they are the business party and the party of free traders par excellence. The US cannot stand another 4 or 8 years of BUSINESS FIRST policies that undermine the constitution and impoverish the American people both financially and emotionally. I am numb about Iraq. Those men and women are dying every day, families are being destroyed, US children are orphaned and I am numb. McCain is an old fool, living in the past and ready, willing and if given the chance to continue W's wrongheaded policies both foreign and domestic. I am tired of Republican Wall Street Socialism. I am tired of the Evanglicals selling out my children's future in order to "outlaw abortion", or introduce prayer into public schools. NC ought to be ashamed about its latest auto license plate debacle. Another costly court battle. McCane, McSame, McOld,WcCain- he has too much baggage to lead this nation out of Iraq, economic doldrums, return credibility to government agencies, lend common sense to the development of energy alternatives. Obama is young, has a stake in the future of this country and has the willingness to learn, listen and lead. He will restore credibility and proper governance and will restore America's leadership around the world. If the idea that is America-All are free and equal is lost, the world will lose its beacon of hope. Obama will restore credibility to the White House and Washington.
With Obama there is hope, with McCain there is just more numbness.

Posted by: CarmanK | July 17, 2008 8:05 AM | Report abuse

BARACK OBAMA has been saying this for 4 years. We were fighting the wrong war. That is why he opposed it.John Mcsame and Bush has said he was inexperienced.Look what W and Mcsame are saying now.That's experienced for you folks.

Posted by: tygirl | July 16, 2008 6:27 PM | Report abuse

I wish everyone would just forget about Iraq and Afghanistan. The economy is in a shambles and we don't need to be focusing our money and attention overseas at this point. Let's just let it go. Pack up and leave.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 16, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Bipartisan perpetual war for perpetual peace..just like Oceania and its "wars" vs EastAsia and Eurasia....

An interventionist warmongering empirebuilding agenda..... didnt we fight the Nazis and Communists for doing the same thing??

The INVOLUNTARY servitude of the US economy and our taxpayers to our Federal government and ITS indebtedness to foriegn banks is staggering....

and these 2 megalomaniac shills and parties for Empire and UnConstitutional warmongering are to be listened too and voted for??????

We had the chance to stop this madness and vote for Constitutional return and peace and freedom with Ron Paul...but noooooooo the conditioned Skinner Box Pavlovian dog Republicans voters voted for the Little General er Admiral Candidate from Manchuria er Arizona...where Mr. Keating enjoyed favors...unlike the first Mrs McCain....

The Hobson's Choice "choice" Americans get in this years charade....it doesnt matter...

Get ready for the Amero and the conflicts in Africa and Iran....and more coffins on the planes and more DHS cops on corners and cameras all over...

a "free" country


Posted by: Chris Bieber | July 16, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse


INTERESTING READING AND A MUST READ BEFORE MAKING UP YOUR MIND WHO TO VOTE FOR.

For years, the mainstream news media has refused to stop idolizing the so-called straight talking maverick John McCain long enough to question the mental health consequences of the years he spent as a "special" prisoner of the communists in North Vietnam.

McCain, the presumptive Republican candidate for President, who could one day have his finger on the "red button," claims the communists subjected him to 5 ½ years of nonstop indoctrination sessions so intense that he attempted suicide.

Unfortunately for McCain, after his bomber was hit by anti-aircraft fire near Hanoi on October 26, 1967, he parachuted into the hands of an evil communist enemy who 7 years earlier had adopted Soviet methods of prisoner interrogation.

At that time, the Soviets were perfecting techniques designed "to put a man's mind into a fog so that he will mistake what is true for what is untrue, what is right for what is wrong, and come to believe what did not happen actually had happened."

Psychiatric Journals are flush with reports concluding that former POWs may remain entangled in "harsh psychological battles" with themselves for decades after returning home including difficulty in controlling intense emotions such as anger and stress.

In political circles, McCain, sometimes referred to as "insane McCain," is well known for having a "volcanic" temper which his colleagues say often erupts into vulgar language and personal insults.

Democrat Paul Johnson, the former mayor of Phoenix, experienced McCain's in your face temperament up close. "His volatility borders in the area of being unstable," Johnson said. "Before I let this guy put his finger on the button, I would have to give considerable pause."

The Journal of America Medicine reported in an 1996 article that being a former POW is associated with "increased cumulative incidence rates of chronic disorders of the peripheral nervous system, joints, and back and an increased hazard rate of peptic ulcer."

The 71 year-old McCain most certainly suffers pain and the weakening effects of chronic arthritis. He broke both arms when he was forced to eject after his bomber was hit. He says the Vietnamese periodically re-fractured his bones during years of interrogation and torture which rendered him permanently incapable of raising his arms above his head.

McCain has never been publicly vetted about what and how much medications he is taking. Aside from his anger and arthritic pain issues, McCain has had reoccurring bouts of malignant melanoma, a deadly form of cancer that can spread quickly throughout the body.

These facts alone beg the question on how a President McCain, in the absence of his campaign staff handlers, would deal with a snap decision that had to be made "if the White House phone rang at 3 a.m."

McCain's POW experience is unique. His communist captors considered him the "crown prince" of U.S. POWs because his father, Adm. John McCain, was commander of all U.S. forces fighting in Vietnam. Because the communists believed he was from a "royal family" and would when finally released return to the United States to an important military or government job, they held him for two years in "solitary confinement."

In February, Reuters news reported that McCain's former captors are expressing delight in the news of his nomination as Republican party Presidential candidate. "In the past Senator McCain has conducted activities that had a positive impact in bringing the two nations [Vietnam/United States] closer. That is a point that Vietnamese people who follow the current affairs do recognize," said retired North Vietnamese Colonel Nguyen Van Phuong, representing retired and present members of the Vietnamese communist military.

Since McCain was first elected to Congress 1982 (and later to the Senate), he and his staff have expended tens of thousands of hours pushing U.S. legislation favoring communist Vietnam. In 1995, McCain stood with Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass. to give President Bill Clinton valuable political cover he needed to disregard the issue of missing U.S. POWs in Vietnam and remove the U.S. trade embargo against Vietnam.

No U.S. POW had any communication with McCain or knew where he was being held during at least 8 to 12 months of McCain's first two years of captivity. He has either been unable or unwilling to account for the months he was missing from the POW system.

Within days of McCain's shoot down and after being told the identity of his famous father, the Vietnamese rushed him to Gai Lam military hospital (U.S. government documents), a medical facility normally unavailable to treat U.S. POWs. McCain was kept at Gai Lam for six weeks under the control of Soviet medical specialist anxious to test the use of their "mind and behavior modification" drugs on such an important prisoner.

McCain said the communists were so effective with their interrogation techniques that he broke on the fourth day after being captured and began cooperating. "Demands for military information were accompanied by threats to terminate my medical treatment if I [McCain] did not cooperate. Eventually, I gave them my ship's name and squadron number, and confirmed that my target had been the power plant." Pages 193-194, Faith of My Fathers, by John McCain.

U.S. intelligence agents concluded in the early 1950s that Soviet intelligence (KGB) agents were experimenting on their prisoners with "mind control" techniques and behavior modification drugs

Allen W. Dulles, the newly confirmed CIA director acknowledged the dilemma in April 1953, when he told a gathering of Princeton alumni that "a sinister battle for men's minds" was underway. The Soviets, Dulles explained "have developed brain perversion techniques, some of which are so subtle and so abhorrent to our way of life that we have recoiled from facing up to them."

During the Cold War, the Soviets and the CIA began competing with secret experiments on prisoners aimed at honing the use of "chemical and biological materials capable of producing human behavioral and physiological changes." The experiments included isolation, sleep deprivation, humiliation, alternating with long hours of interrogation.

Since the Russians and Chinese (and our own CIA) have proven they can in a relative short time alter the basic emotional and behavior patterns of captives, it is fair to assume that McCain's unpredictable and often volatile temperament is directly related to his treatment as a 5 ½ prisoner of the communists.

The American public was first exposed to Soviet "brain perversion techniques" during Korean War when the communists launched a propaganda offensive featuring filmed and recorded testimony of captured U.S. servicemen confessing to war crimes including the use of germ warfare.

By the end of the Korean War, "70 percent of the 7,190 U.S. prisoners held in China had either made confessions or signed petitions calling for an end to the American war effort in Asia. Fifteen percent collaborated fully with the Chinese, and only 5 percent steadfastly resisted."

Military officials were especially alarmed when a significant number of the U.S. prisoners refused to recant their confessions as soon as they returned to the United States.

Beginning in 1960, KGB and Chinese agents directed the Vietnamese in establishing Vietnam's original interrogation guidelines for U.S. prisoners. They suggested interrogation techniques and issued specific intelligence requirements to be extracted during prisoner interrogations.

Official American position on POW confessions was that they were false and forced while privately expressing grave concern that the collaborations proved the communists had developed techniques that could "put a man's mind into a fog."

Psychologist have identified behavior in which a former prisoner emotionally bonds with an abuser as the Stockholm Syndrome. McCain was a strong advocate for prosecuting Bosnian, Yugoslavian and Iraqi war criminals and is adamantly opposed to any form of normalized relation with Cuba until it allows "free elections, human right organizations and a free and independent media."

Yet, McCain has resisted any kind of war crimes investigation of his former Vietnamese torturers. Prosecution and subsequent trials could bring to justice the Vietnamese torturers known by the American POWs as the Bug, Slopehead, the Prick, the Soft Soap Fairy, Rabbit, the Cat, Zorba and many others who were responsible for the murder in North Vietnam of at least 55 U.S. POWs and the brutal torture of hundreds of others.

In November 1991, Tracy Usry, chief investigator of the Minority Staff of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, testified before the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs, that the Soviets interrogated U.S. prisoners of war in Vietnam. McCain became outraged, interrupting Usry several times, arguing that "none of the returned U.S. prisoners of war released by Vietnam were ever interrogated by the Soviets."

Former KGB Maj. Gen. Oleg Kalugin testified during the hearings that the KGB did interrogate U.S. POWs in Vietnam. Kalugin stated that one of the POWs worked on by the KGB was a "high-ranking naval officer," who, according to Kalugin, agreed to work with the Soviets upon his repatriation to the United States and has frequently appeared on U.S. television.

Col. Bui Tin, a former Senior Colonel in the North Vietnamese Army, testified on the same day, but after Usry, that because of his high position in the Communist Party during the war he had the authority to "read all documents and secret telegrams from the politburo" pertaining to American prisoners of war. He said that not only did the Soviets interrogate some American prisoners of war, but that they treated the Americans very badly.

McCain stunned onlookers at the hearing when he moved to the witness table and physically embraced Col. Tin as if he was a long, lost brother.

In 1949 Dr. Andrew Salter authored Conditioned Reflex Therapy, a pioneering work in the field of psychoanalysis. Ten years later, as Richard Condon was writing The Manchurian Candidate, he asked Dr. Salter to help "design" the brainwashed character for the book and subsequent movie.

More than 40 years later, in 1992, during the C-SPAN broadcasts of the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs, Dr. Salter watched the hearings from his New York City apartment. Salter became fascinated with McCain's overly aggressive and angry behavior toward witnesses, especially family members of men still missing in action. After a few hours he called a friend telling her, "the signs are all there, I'm afraid Senator John McCain has been brainwashed."

During the Senate Select hearings, McCain opposed all efforts by the POW/MIA families and activists to have the Select Committee expand its investigation to study how successful the Vietnamese, Soviet, Chinese and Cuban interrogation apparatuses were at exploiting American prisoners of war.

News pundants have elevated McCain to "the most popular national political figure in the country" by repeatedly describing him as a "war hero" based on his refusal accept a communist offer of "early release" from captivity.

What the media has carelessly refused to acknowledge is that the camp's senior ranking U.S. POW (SRO) had issued unquestionable orders that if a POW was to be released, "it would be the longest held prisoner" Because McCain was not the longest held POW, he would have faced a military court-marshal if he had accepted the offer.

It is incumbent upon McCain to prove to the American people that the 5 1/2 years he spent at the mercy of communist interrogators did not leave him with mental health issues that could hinder him in making snap decisions "if the White House phone rang at 3 a.m."

Is McCain taking any kind of pain or "nerve" medicines? If so, do the medicines cause emotional and physical reactions?

McCain was once treated for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) which is said to get worse over time for former POWs, what is the status of his treatment?

Does McCain still harbor stress triggered suicidal tendencies?

Where was McCain and what was happening to him during the months he was missing from the POW camp?

McCain implies that he made only one propaganda broadcast for the communists, but Senate Foreign Relations Committee staffers say he made over 30. How many did he make and what did he get in return?

Why does McCain still deny that the Soviets were involved in the interrogation of U.S. POWs in Vietnam?

Does McCain's former interrogators, the communist Vietnamese, Russians, Chinese and Cubans have anything in their secret intelligence files about his behavior as a prisoner with which they could blackmail a President John McCain?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 16, 2008 8:31 AM | Report abuse

American oil companies have Iraqi oil, thanks to the use of American military, so a move to Afghanistan is a protective measure if troops need to re-enter Iraq.

Posted by: kre | July 16, 2008 6:33 AM | Report abuse

"our ports were almost sold to Dubai and are
not secure."

Whatever. This was a whole lot of noise about nothing. Bush actually got this one right. It's still our guys managing our security. Whether or not the security is adequate is debatable, but the nation of ownership is irrelevant.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 16, 2008 5:32 AM | Report abuse

"the surge tactic is working in Iraq"

People say this so unquestioningly that its astonishing. The surge is working in only the most superficial sense that it is keeping the violence down. Any idiot could have seen that coming. However, the point of the surge is to lead to some political reconciliation. Is there any sign of that happening? The best we seem to do is pay off guys to go after Al Qaeda. Ok, but how long is this going to last? Is there any indication that things aren't going to go back to how they were once we've pulled out? I don't see any. How has the situation changed? Is anyone asking that? McCain is using the most asinine definition of success when describing the surge. It's only a superficial success. People keep moving the goalposts, but if you use the original rationale for the surge, then there's no way you can say its been successful. Not yet and maybe never.

When you add in the fact that the surge is hampering our ability to pacify the Taliban in Afghanistan, you could potentially call this surge a dismal failure. Once again McCain is showing a major lack of understanding of foreign policy. He sees a reduction in casualties and is calling it a success. He is oversimplifying. There needs to be some political progress. There isn't. Without that, the surge is a failure. The non-Republican American people aren't stupid. Obama needs to point this out.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 16, 2008 5:09 AM | Report abuse


Neither candidate seems very interested in the people of Afghanistan. They both primarily talk about the need for a military victory (though McCain gets credit for proposing increased civilian spending).

I get no clear sense of what kind of future for the people of Afghanistan we wish from either of them. Does anyone care that millions are living in poverty? That outside of Kabul, few children go to school, and even fewer girls? That there is no social welfare system in place for war widows and orphans (and for those who thinks this doesn't matter, study the rise of Hamas, Hezbollah, and Sadr in Iraq)?

Do we care that none of our war plans will provide a stable civilian government for the country, so that people can have lives to go on with?

Frankly, both candidates disappoint me on Afghanistan, and so does the media. Do people realize that the world can see how little we actually care about the "people" (not the Taliban or Al Queda) of Afghanistan?

Shame on us all, starting with our candidates.

Posted by: PatrickInBeijing | July 16, 2008 12:36 AM | Report abuse

COPY CATS

ok republican Internet thugs snobama and concerned

you owe the man the respect of saying his name right.

I am amazed at the Republicans

the surge tatic is working in Iraq after having it wrong on

weapons of mass destruction
greeted as liberaters
dead enders
last throws of insurgents
mission accomplished
bring it on

you got one right

I am so happy for you (clap, clap,clap)

while you have been screwing it up

Iran has become stronger
Al Quaeda which is in Afghanistan and Pakistan and never was in Iraq has become stronger( a bunch of Iraqi thugs who call them self AQI doesn't make it so)

Venezuela is threatening their neigbors
Mexico is having drug cartel wars
our boarders aren't secure
our ports were almost sold to Dubai and are
not secure.
50% of our kids in the inner city and 20% in the suburbs aren't graduating.

but the surge worked

great, now that the Iraq prime minister has
requested a timeline for withdrawl and no permanent bases. bet you will have no problem with that.

now Obama in his Iraq plan and today stated
he would add at least 2 divisions or 10k troops to Afghanistan drawing down on Iraq.

The President criticizes him

McCain criticizes him

and then what happens at the end of the day

Gates Secretary of Defense announces they will send two divisions to Afghanistan.

Last year Obama stated he would act in Pakistan on intelligence to get Bin Laden

Hillary, McCain, the Bush adminustration attacks him as Naive.

what happens a couple of weeks later
a predator bombs an Al Queada target killing the no 3 guy for the 4th time.

Talking to our enemies - Iran for example

omg he will talk to Iran without them giving up their Nuclear program so we can talk to them about their Nuclear program
ya that makes sense

after McCain acting like someone stole his ball and Bush going to Israel to call talking to the enemy appeasement it took the Hardballing of a conservative talk show
host that they don't even know what appeasement is.

so what happens less than a week after the Bush speech

it is confirmed that we are talkting to Iran

hmmmm - the media doesn't call anyone on it ya it's that pro-Obama treatment.

what a load of crap

i could care less if McCain refers to Czechoslovakia or Slovak republic or Czech republic.

Posted by: MichaelTempler | July 15, 2008 9:25 PM | Report abuse

You forgot to put the fact that John McCain flip-flopped on Afghanistan...

See Jake Tapper's piece, CNN Politicker, and Marc Ambinder's piece in the atlantic.

Posted by: David | July 15, 2008 9:19 PM | Report abuse

What this boils down to is a war on terrorists who oppose Israel vs. a war on terrorists who oppose the US. The terrorists who oppose Israel operate out of Iraq. The only reason these terrorists kill Americans are that our troops are in Iraq. Remove them, and they would no longer be killing Americans. The terrorists who oppose the US operate out of Pakistan. These are the people who attacked us on 9/11, not the Iraqis. The last time I checked, John McCain worked for the American taxpayer, not the Israeli taxpayer. Let the Israelis take care of themselves, until they are willing to cooperate with us on removing their settlements from the West Bank and sharing Jerusalem as an international city.

Posted by: George Robertson | July 15, 2008 9:00 PM | Report abuse

God, the registration can't come back soon enough.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 15, 2008 8:59 PM | Report abuse

snObama seems disturbed, doesn,t seem to know who his father is, that must be why he has mommy issues

Posted by: Luke | July 15, 2008 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Passing thoughts from LK: Did you ever notice McCain says "my friends" a lot? Is everyone his friend? My uncle Irv doesn't even know him....And that Barack. What's with the "K" at the end, why not settle for "Barac"? It would sound the same but fewer letters...And why does Jiffy peanut butter taste better than that organic junk from Whole Foods?...Hey, McCain, how tough can Afghanistan be? I battled Shecky Greene and Jack Carter my whole life. Now that was tough...Did it ever get better than Mel Torme?...And how about that Rhonda Fleming? Wasn't she something?...That Barack is something else, isn't he? Only Dino has ever dressed better. Maybe JFK and Eddie Fisher, too...Am I the only guy around who enjoys a good bowel movement?...Who says Newark isn't special...Has that Michelle ever hurt her hand on a fist bump? Just asking... How come Adlai Stevenson didn't run for President this year? What's he waiting for?...Will Sinatra have an album out this year or maybe a sequel to "Tony Rome"? Wasn't Richard Conte great in that?... If Barack is ahead by nine points why does the MSM and Broder World claim he's tied? Is that new Math?...If McCain is having trouble reading the teleprompter, any reason why Billy Barty can't hold cue cards for him? Billy's available...Hear McCain outreach is working: Flava Flav has got his vote, maybe even "New York"'s. But why the clock around how about his neck? A Timex is only $19.95...How did Red Buttons miss out on an Oscar for "Poseidon Adventure"? And talking "Poseidon," could that Shelley Winters swim or what?.............

Posted by: L.King | July 15, 2008 8:23 PM | Report abuse

I have no doubt that McCain thinks the Soviet Union still exists, because he always talking about starting another Cold War with Russia.

On the flip side, Obama is quite thankful that Russert asked Clinton first the name of the Russian president in their debate. By the look on his face, it was clear he hadn't a clue.

Posted by: info | July 15, 2008 8:07 PM | Report abuse

McCain's mentioned "Czechoslovakia" more than once during this campaign -- he also called it that during a Republican debate in Miami.

You wanna know how stupid McCain is? He called it "Czechoslovakia" back in the 2000 campaign and was called on it by guess who? George W. Bush.

Now that's stupid.

However, how do we know that Obama knows any better?

Posted by: info | July 15, 2008 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Are we sure that McCain knows where Afghanistan is? After all he has made statements twice recently about wanting to visit Czechoslovakia, which is no longer a country! Maybe he's scared of the Soviet Union threat too! Someone that stupid and/or senile should never be allowed to be President

Posted by: dre7861 | July 15, 2008 7:57 PM | Report abuse

oh my god, we are going to bomb the rocks and dirt some more...2 politicians trying to out war each other...

Posted by: robinhood | July 15, 2008 7:11 PM | Report abuse

As usual, McCain wants to talk only of tactics, never strategically. He thinks small, his judgement is horrible, his "solutions" are a pathway to new problems - and forget about his Internet illiteracy - this man needs a subscription to National Geographic. Entrusting the Commander-in-Chief position to this foolish man would only compound all of the mistakes made over the past eight years and further isolate and bankrupt our country.

Posted by: maxfli | July 15, 2008 6:44 PM | Report abuse

So, why not just throw both of these total
losers,Marxist Socialist Democrat Liberal
Goofball Barack Hussein Obama and the other
panderer Amnesty John McCain under the bus?
Its high time the DNC and RNC wake up and
realize that McCain and Obama are such real
pathetic out of touch with reality and
Dump Both OBAMA and McCAIN here and now!
REDO Anyone? No to Obama! No to McCain.

Posted by: Sandy5274 | July 15, 2008 6:33 PM | Report abuse

After careful and thoughful consideration, I have decided that I no longer wish to be a knee-jerk liberal and actually support gun rights after all.

I also don't think abortions should be done after the baby is born. I realize this is a change but I thought about it and realized I could get more votes this way.

Aren't I cool. If enough votes are involved I can be twisted to think and say anything. that is the change I am advocating.

Next week, I will talk about reduced spending. Ha ha ha - no , not really. even I couldn't pull that one off.

Posted by: snObama | July 15, 2008 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Wait, I was just told that NAFTA is a distraction. I will clarify my views after the election. I am busy, busy, busy.

Posted by: snObama | July 15, 2008 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Someone help Gramp McSame find his marbles. I think they might have rolled under the refrigerator.

Posted by: Jay | July 15, 2008 6:20 PM | Report abuse

John - old Mexico is one of the 57 states. It is where I get all my workers to do my campaign and clean my house. they will be my voters too. I have ways of getting them registered. My reelection will feature every one of their relatives coming north to vote for me - in droves.

Except with the cancellation of NAFTA, which I promised then changed my mind on, there will be no overseas markets open for the fruit they pick.


now what am I supposed to do. Jimmy, help me.

Posted by: snObama | July 15, 2008 6:17 PM | Report abuse

you're right, I do seem too young to be President. I will find a way to spin that one.

Wait I have it. Instead of experience, I have judgment. My stellar judgment is evident in my choice of friends, my voting record (I voted once or twice, you can check), my call for the war to end now, before the surge works, my desire for public finance of campaigns, my claim to be able to reach across the aisle.


Well on second thought, maybe judgment is not such a great idea. how about innovation. I am planning on using all the 70s stuff from Jimmy Carter again. That is all new to me. I was in diapers then.

since I am so bad at answering questions, I will have my cru work up some ideas for me to say. I only give speeches you know. Avoids the interaction and the possibility of a question I can't answer - like pretty much all of them.

Posted by: snObama | July 15, 2008 6:13 PM | Report abuse

"Afghanistan as the New Iraq" you say?

Please do not rename it New Iraq. I am still having trouble catching up to the new names for Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia.

Why, just today, I was speaking in New Mexico, and wondered where Old Mexico was. Then I remembered it was in-between Iceland and Tasmania. Yay!

Posted by: John McSame | July 15, 2008 6:11 PM | Report abuse

72 percent of US voters think McCain would be a good commander-in-chief?

Yeah, well, 75 percent of US voters thought invading Iraq would be a good idea.

Just goes to show what they say all around the world: American voters are awfully slow learners.

Three-quarters of them, anyway.

Posted by: OD | July 15, 2008 6:08 PM | Report abuse

hey no name. what is your IQ - my guess would be under 10.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 15, 2008 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Wait I changed my mind. After considerable thought and contemplation.

Posted by: snObama | July 15, 2008 6:06 PM | Report abuse

SnObama

How old are you? My guess would be under 10.........

Posted by: Anonymous | July 15, 2008 6:05 PM | Report abuse

I listened to both speeches today. Senator Obama has always said we should have been in Afghanistan not Iraq and now McCain is following Obama on what needs to be done there. Interesting. I guess the "new guy" is smarter than the "old guy". Hmmmmm........

Posted by: sweladi | July 15, 2008 5:59 PM | Report abuse

I have carefully thought and considered my position.

Whatever gets me elected is the new me. And I am sticking to it with every new poll. why am I only 6 points ahead. By the time the liberal bias in the polls is removed, I will be losing.

why will no one be my VP? could losing in a landslide be it? at least I'll have my own trivial pursuit card next year.

Posted by: snObama | July 15, 2008 5:54 PM | Report abuse

the only flip-flop I can offer you today is that for the first day ever, I didn't flip-flop. Except the war of course. but that doesn't count. We Libs don't do war. We hide instead.

If I act real tough all summer, will you gullible morons who think I can do no wrong vote for me still?

why haven't you sent your check this week? My ego requires an immense hotel room. I may have to rethink my committment to non-public finance. get the speech writers started on something real noble this time. Maybe use some puppies or kittens. I tell ya, PT Barnum was right, about Dems at least.

Posted by: snObama | July 15, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Just read the two statements and you can clearly see who is setting his own agenda based on careful thought and consideration.

The other guy is merely reacting with little vision or leadership.

Obama's detailed five point strategy is something concrete that I can support.

McCain's reactive speech is just the same old thinking we've witnessed for the past seven years under the Bush administration.

I guess its all that elitist book learnin'.

Posted by: Billy Pilgrim | July 15, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

There was never an al-queda threat in Iraq. It was always in Pakistan and Afghanistan. McSame has no idea what's going on in the world. At least not the world today.

Posted by: Dan | July 15, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

We have lost the war in Detroit. It is time to pull out. I will scour the world for additional places to retreat.

Posted by: snObama | July 15, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Senator McCain is currently polluting my fair city with the noxious fumes from his Straight Talk Express cruiser, and said: "Senator Obama will tell you we can't win in Afghanistan without losing in Iraq," said McCain. "In fact, he has it exactly backwards. It is precisely the success of the surge in Iraq that shows us the way to succeed in Afghanistan."

Where to begin with a disingenuous, foolish statement like this? "Losing" in Iraq, sir, is expending lives and billions on an effort that is founded on lies and that daily assists terrorists in their recruiting efforts. Your surge has accomplished none of its stated goals: American lives are being preserved there now by Patreus' expense account politics and insistence on keeping casualties low by not initiating Fallujah-like missions.

There is no "winning" in a conflict with no mission. McCain refuses to name military objectives because he knows there are none. Instead, he insists on perpetrating continuing lies such as marching through Iraqi marketplaces that he represents are safe, but that he fully knows have been swept with overwhelming resource immediately prior to his arrival and which revert to anarchy the moment he and his unseen protectors exit stage right.

But let us take him at his word: if the surge in Iraq is responsible for what he perceives as "success" (i.e., lower American body count): where, sir, will you find the bodies to maintain the presence you obviously insist on continuing in Iraq, while you simultaneously deploy 10's of thousands more soldiers in Afghanistan?

Posted by: abqcleve | July 15, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

When the press is tearing down Bush everyone applauds. When they tell it like it is about a Democrat, which is a rarity, they cry, foul, improper, no discretion, should have used editorial restraint, inappropriate comment.

Hey, it's the real world now, isn't it?? Perhaps, if Osama is elected one of the things he will do will be remove freedom of the press form the Bill or Rights. Hey, according to his television adds, Osama has singlehandedly , that's singlehandedly with no other senator voting in favor,passed and apparently signed into law everything from social security reform to welfare reform. Just listen to Osama's rhetoric in his TV adds. But there is somethings that don't ring true with Osama. Where is the paper trail of all of his singlehandedly passing even one thing in Illinois? They aren't there. He has been in the Senate 2 years and spent all of it running for president. When did he have time to singlehandedly pass and sign into law, wait, does the senator have the ability to pass the law and sign it into law or does someone else have to sign that law into law?????? I know I am being rredundant and using bad grammer, but that is what our public educational institutions am turning out now since Democrats refuse to allow students the right to attend schools fo their choice. It am Democrats who want everyone be as stupid as they is so on one will really know how government is supposed to function.

Posted by: Concerned | July 15, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

A PRESIDENT must not waste time doing anything that can be done by someone else, and acknowledgement mistakes so not to repeat.

Senator McCain does not understand that IRAQ was a terrible mistake , and will always be a mistake.

We were attacked by the Taliban in Afghanistan and should have shut doen the country and killed Bin Laden.

The IRAQ war was the Bush-Cheney diversion in case we suffered another 9/11 attack before the 2004 election.

History will record the IRAQ war as the worst foreign policy decision in the history of our country. The only worst mistake would be to continue the disaster.

McCain is an old man , almost from another planet. He is out of touch with American and sets no new direction, only continue the failed policy of George W. Bush.

Senator Obama is a true leader. We are fortunate that we have him running for President.

Senator Obama will be the next President of the United States and win with a landslide vote. Let's move forward.

Posted by: Walter | July 15, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Grampy's map of the world is dated 1970.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 15, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

***** W A N T E D *****

I am looking for someone we can pump up oil production in Iraq.

If you know how to win war in Iraq, need not to apply for this job.

If you know how to get out of our Iraq, need not to apply for this job.

Posted by: Wanted - Oil Oil Oil | July 15, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

It shows that he's willing to get out of Iraq but isn't so idealistic to think that the GWOT is over. Liberals hate this move, but it will soothe moderates afraid of Osama.

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: matt | July 15, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

What Sen. McCain fails to admit is that the surge worked because we surged the amount of bribes that we paid to the Sunnis. And, of course, Al Qaeda are Sunnis.

In Afghanistan, and Pakistan, we are dealing with tribal warlords who also want to be bribed, and also want to run the poppy and pipeline businesses. When Bush looked into Putin's soul did he see a man who was going to outmaneuver him in Pipelineistan and Afghanistan?
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/west_asia/37021.stm
http://atimes.com/c-asia/DA25Ag01.html

Intelligence matters. Enough stupid Republicans. Obama gets my vote.

Posted by: JR, Boston | July 15, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

McSame was essentially saying "Me too!" about Afghanistan. Just recently he said Iraq was the centeral front because Bin Laden had stated as such. Grampy, time for you to retire.

Posted by: Iraq Vet | July 15, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

With all the hullabaloo today about Barack Obama's position on Iraq (and whether he'll promise to withdraw from Iraq in 16 months, or set that as a goal, etc.) it would seem that McCain campaign has again successively deflected attention from the fact that McCain's goal is to station American troops in Iraq permanently. His policy is not one of refusing to set arbitrary timelines or keeping in touch with commanders on the ground or members of the Iraqi government. Those are all obfuscations -- a continuation of the one used by President Bush for five years. The choice is still stark -- leave Iraq or stay in Iraq, and the very different foreign policy visions which inevitably grow from each decision. Any reporting that fails to confront this point is ... a failure, and a cave to McCain who knows his position is deeply unpopular.

Posted by: Dan | July 15, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

"Barack Obama is taking heat for hinting that he might refine his 16-month timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq. But a forthcoming Pentagon-sponsored report will recommend an even steeper drawdown in less time, NEWSWEEK has learned. If adopted, the 300-page report by a defense analysis group at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., could transform the debate about Iraq in the presidential election.

Expected to be completed in about a month, it will recommend that U.S. forces be reduced to as few as 50,000 by the spring of 2009, down from about 150,000 now. The strategy is based on a major handoff to the increasingly successful Iraqi Army, with platoon-size U.S. detachments backing the Iraqis from small outposts, with air support. The large U.S. forward operating bases that house the bulk of U.S. troops would be mostly abandoned, and the role of Special Forces would increase."

Posted by: what will mccain say now? | July 15, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

How can we trust a man with purple lips?

Posted by: Nadeem Zakaria | July 15, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

If he knows how to win wars, as he says, then Senator McCain also must know how to do simple math. If he is serious about doing what he says he's going to do in Afghanistan, then he should explain to the American people that it will mean he has abandoned his stubborn position on Iraq, or he will institute the draft.

And, if he won't give America some straight talk on that, maybe, for once, the media will dare to ask Senator McCain a tough question or two.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 15, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Obama's speech today shows once again that he is a leader who can command respect for his intellect, his insight, and his strength both at home and around the world. His views on the need to more effectively pursue the war in Afghanistan are sophisticated and correct. He was right on Iraq (wrong war) and he is right no on Afghanistan (correct war).

McCain shows his feebleness by simply parroting the insights Obama has already offered. McCain in the presidency would be a dangerous and costly downward turn for our nation.

Posted by: dee | July 15, 2008 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Five years ago, on the April 10, 2003 Hannity and Colmes, John McCain said, "Nobody in Afghanistan threatens the United States of America and nobody is running terrorist training camps to orchestrate attacks on the United States of America." And, for the next five years, those "nobodies" made significant gains in Afghanistan, as McCain and President Bush focused on Iraq.

Today, apparently, Afghanistan is a threat and John McCain is just the man who knows how to "win wars," as he said in response to Senator Obama's speech on our global commitments. Actually, this is more like Senator McCain recognizing that Senator Obama, with his long-standing view that we needed to focus on Afghanistan, is about to look prescient about Afghanistan, and a lot tougher on the terrorists than John McCain. So, as Obama called for an increase in the number of troops in Afghanistan, McCain teased that this week, he'll call for a "surge" there.

One problem: He can't do it.

Senator Obama's plan is eminently workable, as he will begin the redeployment of troops from Iraq and up the numbers in Afghanistan. Admiral Mike Mullen said as much, when he said that he, too, would like to send more troops to Afghanistan, but couldn't do so until we found a way to get troops home from Iraq.

Unless McCain orders a draft, which he has said he will consider. At last, you young republican war cheerleaders will have a chance to serve!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 15, 2008 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Since my judgment on the surge was so utterly off the mark, I won't blame anyone for laughing at anything I say about war from now on.

Posted by: snObama | July 15, 2008 1:25 PM


-------------------------------------------

Did you find it funny when Obama opposed the Iraq War in the first place while WcCain stated it would essentially be a cakewalk?

Did you laugh when Obama offered legislation to call the Iraniain Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization while WcCain doesn't even know that al-qaeda and Iran are actually enemies?

Do you laugh when WcCain has to be reminded the difference between sunnis and shiites by his tiny buddy Lieberman?

You find it amusing that Obama has been warning us about Afghanistan being unfinished biz for years now while WcCain is busy shopping Baghdad's lovely markets (surrounded by a very large military escort)?

Do you have a giggle every time WcCain talks about Cheklysovokia, which hasn't been a country for the last 15 years?

And speaking of the surge....do you laugh at all the political progress that has occurred as a result of the surge? (If so, feel free to point out the political progress that has been made so we can all laugh with you instead of at you).

I gotta admit....the only thing I've found funny lately regarding these issues is when WcCain stated "I know how to win wars".

Now that's some funny shi#.

Posted by: dan | July 15, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

don't pay attention to snoBama -- he's an unemployed slug with a low IQ.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 15, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Why doesn't John McCain want to listen to Sec. Def Gates, who wants to pull troops out of Iraq to send to Afghanistan?

Because he says he knows better than the military. Another one of those...

Posted by: Anonymous | July 15, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Bravo, I do have a sophisticated view of war. first we invite our enemy to tea. then we inform him of his constitutional rights. then we offer him counseling. after that we discuss his mother issues (I don't deal with father issues). finally we appeal to them to stop hating us for our offenses and promise to be nicer. If none of that works, we surrender and go home.

notice, we don't do any of that brutish killing or winning or anything.

Posted by: snObama | July 15, 2008 1:49 PM


------------------------------------------

What's highly "ironical" about your stupid comment is that the only thing that has worked in Iraq is sitting down and talking to our enemies (drinking tea may or may not have been involved).

That whole "unsophisticated" way of blowing everyone and everything up didn't work out that well....

Of course....the way you framed your argument is lame and makes you look the same.

You should "cut and run" from posting any more comments.

Your ignorance makes you look like a "retardocrat".

Posted by: McCan't tell you the difference between sunnis and shiites | July 15, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

McCain is just following Obama.

Obama is acting as a leader with his speech today on Iraq/Afghanistan/foreign policy.

Posted by: Michelle | July 15, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

"McCain's case is different. He must find a way to turn his advocacy for the surge in Iraq into a net positive -- a signal of his good judgment when it comes to the way the U.S. military should conduct itself in Afghanistan. McCain knows that dwelling on Iraq is a political loser but he and his campaign believe that if they can use the success of the surge to pivot to Afghanistan and, in doing so, raise questions about Obama's readiness for office, they might be able to win that fight politically."

All I can say to this is "wow." It assumes that McCain has any "good judgment" that he can "signal," which any realistic observer knows to be farcical. Chris, how can you ignore that McCain's "good judgment" led him to be an active neo-con proponent of the Iraq war in the first place and as late as 2005 said he basically agreed with Bush on all the "transcendent" issues, including Iraq? McCain's case is to explain why we should give him any credit for judgment at all in light of being wrong on the single biggest foreign policy issue of our time and still not being able to acknowledge this gross mistake. Only by starting the clock in 2006 (and assuming that the surge is an unmitigated success, rather than the mixed bag that it actually has been) do you even get to the question you say McCain needs us to ask. By doing so, you buy into McCain's bait-and-switch. I'm just wondering whether you actually give any thought to these analyses or just cut-and-past McCain talking points?

Posted by: RobM | July 15, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

There are two very good reasons to pay attention to Afghanistan:

1 - Joe Lieberman told me to, and

2 - Trouble in Afghanistan could very well spread to its peaceful neighbors of Guatemala, Mali, and North Dakota.

Posted by: John McSame | July 15, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

So let's all say it out loud: McCain is now copying Obama's position on Afghanistan.

And with troops that he doesn't have since he's against pulling any out of Iraq.

From Talking Points Memo, the best news source out there.

Posted by: Brian | July 15, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

McCain and Obama can not tell the differences between Sunnis, Shi'ites, Shriners and Suri (Cruise).

Any stragey for victory in Iraq must include pumping oil 24/7 in Iraq.

At least, McCain is famous for BOM, BOM, BOM Mantra.

What's Obama's mantra in Iraq?

If Obaman is smart, his mantra in Iraq should be PUMP PUMP PUMP BABY.

Yes, We Can For Free!

Posted by: Yes We Can For Free | July 15, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

McCain is in a lot of trouble. A new SC poll finds him leading by only 6. And this is as red a Southern state as it gets: http://campaigndiaries.com/2008/07/15/tuesday-polls/

Posted by: Dan | July 15, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

So Afghanistan is the new Iraq, which was once the new Afghanistan.

OK, old man, if you say so.

Posted by: Spectator2 | July 15, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

"The people of Afghanistan and the international community have come to the reality that Pakistan intelligence institutions and its army have become the largest center for breeding and exporting terrorism and extremism to the world and particularly to Afghanistan," Monday's resolution said.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 15, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse


Afghanistan regularly accuses Pakistan's intelligence service -- which has strong ties with the Taliban -- of orchestrating attacks inside its borders.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 15, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Six months before 9/11, Bush gave the Taliban $40 million dollars, supposedly to stop opium production. But they gave it to bin Ladin to use for 9/11.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 15, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

KABUL, Afghanistan (CNN) -- Afghan lawmakers have directly accused Pakistan's intelligence agency of involvement in a string of deadly attacks in Afghanistan, blasting their neighbor as "the largest center for breeding and exporting terrorism."

Posted by: Anonymous | July 15, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

McOld? McDud? McDoddering?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 15, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Does McOld even know where Afghanistan is?

Posted by: Patrick NYC | July 15, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Iraq was never a threat to us. Only a source of revenue for oil companies.

Pakistan is, however, a nuclear power about to fall into terrorist hands; in fact, its intelligence service is riddled with al-Queda and it is the terrorist training center of the world.

Afghanistan is increasingly overrun with al-Queda, who launch attacks fro Pakistan across the border.

al-Queda is about to become nuclear... imagine a nuclear 9/11, folks...

and John McCain is more worried about Exxon Mobil's bottom line.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 15, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Bravo, I do have a sophisticated view of war. first we invite our enemy to tea. then we inform him of his constitutional rights. then we offer him counseling. after that we discuss his mother issues (I don't deal with father issues). finally we appeal to them to stop hating us for our offenses and promise to be nicer. If none of that works, we surrender and go home.

notice, we don't do any of that brutish killing or winning or anything.

Posted by: snObama | July 15, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

I think it is crystal clear from his speech today (which is a good one) where he stands. And that he has a far more sophisticated view of the world than McCain. McCain claims he knows how to win wars ( where's the record John) but we need someone who knows how to win the peace

Posted by: nclwtk | July 15, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

I have to talk tough on Afghanistan. but after I am elected I will run away from there too.

nudge nudge, wink wink

Posted by: snObama | July 15, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

The post below--the first paragraph is a quote from Chris Cilizza. I see html doesn't come across...

Posted by: Anonymous | July 15, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

As recently as a year or so ago, mainstream media outlets such as the New York Times would routinely qualify their mention of "Al Queda In Iraq" as a force that "some say" or that "military leaders describe" as being under the control of an international terrorist organization.

These days, the MSM seems to take as a given that there is a detectable distinction between "Iraqi insurgents" of domestic origin, and "Al Queda in Iraq" as a force predominately comprised of foreign fighters.

Is this a triumph of propaganda? Can forces on the ground truly tell the difference?

If not, why do MSM, and even Barack Obama, continue to regard AQ in Iraq as distinguishable from domestic insurgents?

Has anyone asked Obama about this?

_______________________


FINAL NOTE: IF YOU VALUE OUR DEMOCRACY AND
THE RULE OF LAW, PLEASE CLICK ON THIS LINK:

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/vigilante-injustice-organized-gang-stalking-american-gestapo

Posted by: scrivener | July 15, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Obama must show voters that he is strong and right when it comes to foreign policy; that while he opposed the war in Iraq, he is not the dove-ish Democrat that Republicans have caricatured successfully in recent campaigns.

Obama was right on Iraq in 2002, and he's been advocating for focusing on Afghanistan and Pakistan the entire campaign. I know this because I'm an avid media junkie, but where does the public get this information?

I really hope this thread gets more comments than the damned New Yorker cover. But it probably won't. This story doesn't even get the information out there--the positions that Obama's taken that have been shown to be the most wise, if you listen to most foreign policy experts. Where are people going to get the truth? I am very depressed -- how can we have so much telecom technology, but so little good information??

Posted by: Beth in VA | July 15, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

The war in Afghanistan always was the primary front in our war against those who attacked us. Afghanistan was a primary organizational home for that whole string of Al-Qaeda initiatives throughout the '90's, and the sanctuary the leadership took refuge within.

Iraq, from the beginning, was at the heart of the neocon agenda, and had nothing to do with 9/11. It was all about big money and ideological posturing in Iraq. The criminal opportunists who call the shots for BushCo took us in there for their own ends, to disastrous effect.

It took awhile, but America finally woke up from the war hysteria, and realized the truth about Iraq. Now the national consensus is for us to get out there, and quit wasting the lives of our best and bravest. Haven't enough of them been sacrificed so Bush's fellow oilmen can keep delivering the bacon to their shareholders?

Afghanistan SHOULD be at the top of the discussion list. It always was the right war, fought for the right reasons, against the right enemy, in the right place, at the right time (in other words, everything Iraq isn't.)

Maybe, after seven years of relative neglect, we can finally finish the job we should have performed years ago. You know, the one we were supposed to do? The one the world supported us on (and still does?) THAT job?

About time.....

Posted by: Waiting For Godot | July 15, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Since my judgment on the surge was so utterly off the mark, I won't blame anyone for laughing at anything I say about war from now on.

Posted by: snObama | July 15, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Under the Bush Administration, Americans have become confused, distrustful and delusional. We don't know where the fight against terrorism should take place. McCain's vision is for America to fight in Iraq and Iran and leave Afghanistan for NATO. Why? Because Afghanistan is not a oil giant like Iran and Iraq.

Obama's vision is for America to fight in Afghanistan and eliminate the Al Qaeda threat and help establish Afghanistan as free, stable and relatively peaceful state. This is what should have been done originally, crush Al Qaeda and imprison the Tabliban leadership.

But most Americans let Bush distract them with the case against Iraq.

Posted by: Obama-Junkie | July 15, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Wow, suddenly Afghanistan is the new Iraq. I guess it took having casualties in Afghan. exceed casualties in Iraq to get the attention of the candidates (The white house doesnt care anymore) Whether the American people are ready for a "new" war is highly suspect as they just have gotten settled in about dumping Iraq. ARe all we to do is shift forces from Iraq to Afghan. and buy into another protracted unwinnable conflict. Where is the real leadership?

Posted by: nclwtk | July 15, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Here's a quote from a Marine that sums up the "Iraq first, then Afghanistan" strategy:

Message from a proud Marine: "Support the Commandant of the Marine Corps. Apparently he has too much common sense and realizes that we are not counter-insurgent specialists but more of a Shock Troop. Although we do a great job at counter-insurgency, we are best fit for Afghanistan." The writer is a GySgt currently deployed to Iraq and also a member of the Modern Whig Party (July 9, 2008)

http://www.modernwhig.org
Modern Whig Party - For the rest of us

Posted by: Modern Whig | July 15, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

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